Athletic Bilbao vs. FC Barcelona Quick Preview from a Barca Point of View

Isaac AsanteCorrespondent IINovember 20, 2009

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A comprehensive 4-2 home victory over Mallorca for FC Barcelona two weeks ago should normally serve the Catalans as a morale-boosting result ahead of their weekend away match against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga.

The Spanish League titleholders have not really managed to keep the luck and strength they showed last season, but regardless, they still hold the first place in the standings.

Surely, this is because of Real Madrid’s incapability to remain in winning ways, yet Barcelona could suffer a drop in the standings if they fail to get a victory at the San Mames stadium on Saturday.

FC Barcelona - Dealing with Exhaustion

It is indeed true that matches played by Barcelona’s biggest stars during their recent international duties could have an impact on their display this weekend. Certainly, this would be understandable, but then, bearing in mind that Real Madrid’s rotation policy could help Los Blancos in terms of fitness and match preparation against Racing Santander, Barcelona would certainly have to put their fatigue behind.

This definitely calls for determination…

Enhancing the back

Recent matches have clearly revealed that Barcelona’s defenders need a whole new way of protecting their goal line, so as to prevent their opponents from scoring in almost every single match they play; but nonetheless, it looks like coach Pep Guardiola is more concerned by the work of his front men than the mistakes of his back players.

Most goals conceded by Barcelona recently have been coming from dreadful faults in the Catalans’ own half. Perhaps, a stronger midfield could do be the ideal solution to solve such a dangerous problem, but then, it would be unacceptable to rely on specific parts of the team only, instead of the entire squad.

At least the defense would have to be blameless before the manager decides to handle games over to his attackers; however, this is not the case for the Spanish League titleholders.

Well, these negative facts should immediately be taken seriously by manager Guardiola, if ever he is to prevent Athletic Bilbao from making his side pay for the humiliating, historic moment when they defeated the Basques 4-1 in the Copa del Rey final, and 5-1 on aggregate in the Spanish Super Cup single-legged encounter.

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona - The Score Line

To be honest, I personally can’t really predict the score line, but I certainly can predict that the match will not end in more than a 5-goal thriller. What about you fans, what do you believe?

You might want to let me know your opinions through comments, and maybe, check here.